Computers in churches

Equipping selected church planters from the Florida Baptist Convention with basic technology skills necessary for church planting

Author
Antonio O Arango
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected church planters from the Florida Baptist Convention with technology skills for church planting. A seminar setting equipped the planters. The seminar had three sessions with each session addressing a specific technology area. Session one focused on integrating computers into ministry. Session two provided an understanding of the basics of sound reinforcement. The third session addressed lighting technologies and emphasized managing audience attention. The seminar took place at First Baptist Church Orlando and was attended by four church planters selected by Rick Lawrence, Church Planting Director for the Florida Baptist Convention.

Web site development and a process for congregational study, education, and evaluation: www.ccwm-medford.org

Author
Larry A Titus
Abstract
The Congregational Church (UCC) of West Medford, Massachusetts, after a series of congregational studies, developed a web site to address the assessed needs of evangelism and education for faith development. Studies, including a timeline, theological world views, demographic profiles and church records, helped members learn about the context and identity of the church. Insights from these studies guided the Web Site Team and minister as they designed the web site. The web site project increased member's appreciation for and knowledge of the church, and provided an effective form of evangelism for those using the Internet to find a church.

Exploring internet use among the growing churches of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church

Author
Brian C Burch
Abstract
The study explored Internet use among growing congregations. Growth was determined from membership, worship attendance, and professions of faith data from 2000 to 2003. A researcher-created survey instrument recorded Internet use. The data yielded the following observations. Churches with higher growth rates exhibiting higher Internet use rates. Growing churches were four times more likely to host a web site than average. Pastors of growing churches use technology that can be adapted for ministry at a higher rate than average. Higher church growth rates were observed in communities with above average education levels, also with above average level of Internet access.

The theological principles underlying parish records with particular application to their role in the design and evaluation of computer software

Author
Chris N Hinkle
Abstract
The content of parish records and the terminology used within them should reflect a congregation's theological heritage. The paper reviews the purpose of church records, the nature of the church and church membership, principles of stewardship, and the responsible use of confidential information and shows how they apply to church records. Chapter four provides a brief overview of the history of computers and parish administration software utilized by Lutheran congregations. The final chapters present an instrument for evaluating church software from a pastoral and theological perspective and show how it was used to compare three products for Lutheran congregations.

The development of nwnet: an e-mail communication system for the Diocese of New Westminster

Author
Ronald Leslie Barnes
Abstract
This project proposes that an in-house electronic mail system can helpfully facilitate the work of clergy in Anglican/Episcopal dioceses in North America. Based on the history of one such system and a survey of diocesan communication systems, the project produces a manual for the installation and use of diocesan electronic mail and offers a theology of communication.

Planning for a banquet: discovering and evaluating the elements of cooperation in a local Baptist association

Author
David P Brien
Abstract
This project proposes a computer program instrument to enable leaders of local Southern Baptist associations to understand, analyze, measure, and evaluate elements of cooperation among member congregations. When associational leaders understand the elements of cooperation as determined by this project, they can take necessary steps to improve cooperation among and between member churches.

Trinity, community, and communication: challenge and opportunity for United Methodist witness and mission through "cyberspace"

Author
Jay Michael Derk
Abstract
This project proposes a plan to use computer and internet technology in the ministry of the Central Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in order to appropriate new communication resources in service to Christian mission. Based on historical research and surveys of current communication technologies the project suggests ways to provide a theological foundation for communication project development and computer-enhanced communication ministries.

"Hearing the word in our own language": computer use in the local church for the 21st century

Author
Todd Douglas Anderson
Abstract
This project explores ways that computers and electronic mail can be used to help local congregations strengthen relationships and promote community. At Linwood United Methodist Church (Worthington, Ohio) the project constructs a computer laboratory in the Christian education ministry, installs an internet connection for pastoral care and an electronic mail ministry to college students, and develops a pastoral care database as a resource for more efficient and effective ministry.

Exploring the application of computerized church education programs

Author
Yong Soon Park
Abstract
This project seeks to resolve several problems that have plagued clergy using church education programs under the DOS operating system. The project reviews diverse perspectives on the relationship between computer technology and Christian theology, reports in-depth interviews with local clergy about their troubles in fixed-disk expansion, memory allocation, and communication skills, and then analyzes mail surveys of 20 software experts about solutions. The project proposes various methods that pastors might immediately employ for the benefit of their Bible study. This project can help pastors implement the emerging resources of computer systems into their ministry.

Computerized information storage, maintenance, retrieval, and utilization for a small church

Author
Richard P Frederick
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to investigate all pertinent hardware, software, and literature available to determine the feasibility of developing a complete church computer system (for a small church at a cost of less than {dollar}2000.00) and then train the staff, in absentia, to operate that system. Efforts were made to move that staff from the mentality of record keeping into the concept of information management. The procedures for this action research involved examination of hardware and software, determination of appropriate system components, participant familiarization, an individual post-questionnaire for each software program and for the package, and a post personal or telephone structured interview. Evaluation was on three levels: participants' general impressions about overall effectiveness of computerization and their ability to function within the system; numerical averages of the individual questions in the questionnaire; and, suggestions of changes to improve system efficiency or effectiveness. The study concluded that the project and its processes were viable and productive.
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